SPECIAL TOPIC: LAMPSTAND
This ("menorah," BDB 633, KB 600) is a sacred object for providing light in the Holy Place (cf. Exod. 25:37; 27:20-21). It is described in Exod. 25:31-40; 37:17-24.
1. made of gold
2. six branches on a central shaft, three on each side
3. at the top of each branch three cups, shaped like almond blossoms with a bulb and flower
4. at the top of the central shaft are four cups, like #3
5. all parts were made of one piece of hammered gold (one talent, cf. Exod. 25:39)
6. the exact pattern was revealed to Moses on Mt. Sinai (cf. Exod. 25:40)
7. the pattern in Exodus is part of the vision of Zechariah in Zech. 4:1-6; this seems to reflect the post-exilic, second temple
Solomon changed it into ten separate lampstands (cf. 1 Kgs. 7:49; 2 Chr. 4:7) in his temple.
One wonders if the menorah is somehow connected to the concept of the "tree of the knowledge of good and evil," from Gen. 2:17, which was supposed to give light/knowledge (cf. Gen. 3:5).
It is possible that John's presentation of Jesus as "the light of the world" in John 8:12 is related to this concept. I have enclosed my notes from John.
John 8:12 "I am the Light" John 6, 7, and 8 seem to be related to the "wilderness wanderings" period of Israel's history, the source of the metaphors that Jesus uses of Himself.
A. John 6 uses "manna" and "the bread of life."
B. John 7 uses "water" and "living water."
C. John 8 uses "light" and "shekinah glory."
This metaphor of light is repeated throughout John (cf. John 1:4-5, 8-9; 3:19-21; 9:5; 12:46).
There has been some debate as to exactly what this refers.
1. the ancient fear of darkness
2. a title for God in the OT (cf. Ps. 27:1; Isa. 62:20; I John 1:5)
3. the background of the Feast of the Tabernacles, lighting of the candelabra in the Court of the Women
4. an allusion to the shekinah cloud of glory in the wilderness wandering period that symbolized the presence of God
5. the Messianic titles in the OT (cf. Isa. 42:6, 49:6; Luke 2:32)
The rabbis also used "light" as a title for the Messiah. The lighting of the huge lamps in the Court of the Women during the Feast of Tabernacle is the obvious setting for Jesus' statement. The Messianic implications of light and the special references in John 1:4,8 coincide with the ceremony in the Temple for Jesus to continue to reveal His true origin.
This is one of the seven "I am" statements in John (followed by a predicate)
1. I am the Bread of life (John 6:35,41,46,51)
2. I am the Light of the world (John 8:12; 9: 5; cf. 1:4,9; 12:46)
3. I am the door of the sheepfold (John 10:7,9)
4. I am the good shepherd (John 10:11,14)
5. I am the resurrection, and the life (John 11:25)
6. I am the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6)
7. I am the true vine (John 15:1,5)
These unique statements, found only in John, point toward the person of Jesus. John focuses on these personal aspects of salvation. We must trust Him!
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